Major Uses

Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant or cleanser that is most commonly used to treat bacteria, yeast, fungus, and viruses. Chlorhexidine is used to treat the ears, skin and oral cavity when there is an infection present such as chronic otitis externa or periodontal disease. This drug is also used in the treatment of superficial skin infections and can be used as a medicated shampoo for the treatment of conditions such as hot spots or acute moist dermatitis.

Common Precautions

Side effects associated with Chlorhexidine are rare.

Chlorhexidine should not be administered in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Chlorhexidine may interact with other medications. This should be discussed with a veterinarian. Chlorhexidine 2% scrub and solution should be diluted to prevent allergic reactions. Emergency veterinary care should be sought if an animal experiences any unusual symptoms.


Chlorhexidine solution should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.


Chlorhexidine is available in the following forms:

Chlorhexidine otic (ear) solutions 1%

Chlorhexidine solutions 2%

Chlorhexidine oral rinse solutions 0.1%

Chlorhexidine shampoo and conditioner 1% and 2%

For treatment of otitis externa, Chlorhexidine should be applied to flush the ear canal SID. Dose may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.